Thursday, 26 November 2009


Tonight we went to one of the premium events of the Wellington Xmas calendar, the Treaty of Waitangi Fisheries Annual Christmas do. It used to be held at the Tug Boat and it was famous for some very very long nights studded with raucous behaviour and that was just the knights and the Ministers.

Tonights affair was at Mac's Brewery in the function room. While 30 percent of those who were there were old friends and familiar faces - over 16 years the human landscape has changed a bit.

They no longer have a top journalism prize, which in its day was the richest in the country at $12,000 in travel. ( We won it once) We suggest that maybe they award a prize to the most interesting blog!

There were fewer shiny arses , fewer lawyers, accountants, and more iwi reps at this years party.

And in an old and fine tradition the taxi drivers,who cart the out of towners from the airport to meetings, quaffed beer alongside knights and captains of industry..

So overall it was a good do.

And in a long tradition crayfish was served and continued to be served until no-one could eat another half tail. This year everyone was talking about the meaty ice clams , the latest new shell fish.

They are spectacular but they were served badly, they were overcooked and over seasoned. These are a delicate fish and they deserve the loving attention of a top chef. And while the crayfish was perfectly cooked, it should never, ever be served with the gut cord still attached. The Maori seafood industry , like the NZ seafood industry should always remember to showcase their product in the best possible way. While to most of the attendees it was good tucker - it was not fine food - and it is fine food that out nation should always produce everywhere, everytime to everybody. It is after all the raison d'etre of the industry

It was also not a good night to be a white chocolate ( Ngai Tahu chick) from the deep south. The ETS has created a division we hoped wouldn't be too deep - but it is. There were definite barbs about the fat rich Ngai Tahu from the deep south. ( we admit to being a bit porky and Ngai Tahu but we are not rich)
There is a definite anger about the deal that really only delivers benefits to a favoured few. So while there are still disparities between Maori and Pakeha, there is a growing disparity within Maoridom as well and it has caused anger and resentment. It will become a bigger issue as the details and their impact become apparent.

It was also the night to say goodbye to a knight - Archie Taiaroa, one of the finest gentlemen we have known. He is a quiet, man, humble, wise and gracious. He will be missed. The affable Ngahiwi Tomoana is taking over and although he has big shoes to fill he will do a fine job.


pdm said...

As someone from Hawkes Bay I have some reservations about Ngahiwi Tomoana who has been a spokesman for Ngati Kahanganui in Hawkes Bay for a number of years. He always struck me as someone who ran with the Hares and hunted with the Hounds.

I hope I am wrong.

alex Masterley said...

RP, you have got it right, the increasing divide between those at the top table in maoridom and those who are left wiht crumbs will the create an even bigger mess than the ETS has done and will do.